IndyBar: Bench & Bar Gather for 20th Bench Bar Conference

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It’s grown in size from 80 to more than 300, moved to different locations and has evolved into the premier event for education and networking for central Indiana attorneys, but the mission of the Bench Bar Conference has remained the same for the past 20 years—to promote collegiality and build positive relationships among practitioners in the Indy legal community.

On June 13 to June 15, lawyers, judges and even law students gathered once again in Louisville, Ky., for the Bench Bar Conference. From education to networking, the event had it all, serving as a fitting celebration of the event’s 20th anniversary.

To check out even more photos from Bench Bar 2013, visit the IndyBar Facebook page at

iba-bob-annie-15col.jpg The 20th annual Bench Bar Conference was ably chaired by Hon. Bob Altice and Hon. Annie Christ-Garcia, both of the Marion Superior Court.
iba-fed-panel-15col.jpg Hon. Jane Magnus Stinson, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana; Monica Foster, Executive Director of the Federal Defender Agency; Mark Inman, Attorney at Law and Steve Debrota, United States Attorney’s Office, discuss hot topics in federal law Friday morning.

iba-james-15col.jpgAttendees enjoyed programming in four different tracks—civil and trial skills, criminal law, family law and, for the first time, in-house counsel. James Bell of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP is shown here highlighting the potential perils of social media use by attorneys. Programming also included other hot topics like the legalization of medicinal marijuana, workplace violence and cyber threats, and the newly-adopted criminal code.
iba-td-15col.jpgTom Davis, Frost Brown Todd LLC, led attendees down Bench Bar memory lane, recalling some memorable (and some infamous) Bench Bar moments over the past 20 years. TD brought about the first Bench Bar Conference during his IndyBar presidency in 1993.
iba-cocktail-group-15col.jpg Alicia Gooden, The Mediation Group LLC; Natalie Snyder, Cross Pennamped Woolsey & Glazier P.C.; Eric Engebretson, Whitham Hebenstreit & Zubek; Jamy Engebretson and Kathy Harmon, Mallor Grodner LLP enjoy Friday’s cocktail reception.
iba-trivia-2col.jpg Friday was closed out by a sold-out Trivia Night to benefit the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Perhaps not surprisingly, lawyers and judges brought their competitive spirit, sparring with each other (and sometimes with hosts James Bell and Adam Christensen), but ultimately enjoying a fun evening to benefit a great cause.
iba-lunch-2col.jpg Keynote speaker Craig Zablocki had attendees laughing at Friday’s luncheon, where he urged them to “stop being nouns and start being verbs.”

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  1. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.